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Tired of Lurking in the wings

Mike JMMike J Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello, My name is Mike. I've been a member since August 2009, but have just been reading the posts until now.

I was in law enforcement for fifteen-years and was injured on-the-job, in 2001. I put off the back situation until 2006, when I had a Charite artificial disc placed in L5/S1. The first years went well, but in April 2008, I started a down-hill decline. Now, I'm on more pain meds then before the surgery, and in greater pain. I have a loving/caring wife of 23 years, and three great kids. They try to understand, but no one really gets it until they have chronic pain.

I'm not looking for answers, but just a support group. I recently returned to the surgeon, and am scheduled for additional testing. I have asked to be fused, since the disc appears to have slipped at S1. Any input about fusion would be great. I rate my daily pain at an 8/10. I'm on the pain-patch and Hydrocodone 7.5/750 mg every five-hours. I attempted to open a business, but can sit longer than 2-hours.

Thanks for this forum, and I look forward to getting to know some of you.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hi Mike

    I am glad you have found the forum useful. This is as you have seen a great support group as well as informative forum.

    I am glad you have now decided to share your story and get that support you are looking for, also by telling your story you will help and encourage people in the same position as you.

    I look forward to reading your future posts.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Mike,
    We have all lurked and become familiar with the norming and forming of this group, my own first post was greeted with great scepticism and the understanding of our varied experience all valid, I am sorry to hear that your physical capacity hindered your business venture, what did you have to do to get the pain down after the two hours.

    My view is that the transition from no pain to some is very difficult and usually unexpected and one that we never forget however long our journey or experience.

    We all have our own internal answers and need to have fully exhausted each aspect before moving onto the next and as you say each condition has the potential for some improvement. Although some people will not get it we should not distance ourselves from those who have pain as the only possibility for some understanding and my own residential pain management team although not in pain, do get it !!! so it is who we look for our own answers, find the right people to help you specifically.

    Take care John

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You said you're looking for a support group, and you've found a great one. We have over 11,000 members on the forum, so there's a great wealth of knowledge, friendship and support.

    I'm sorry to hear that your situation has gone back to pre-surgery. I can't tell you anything about lumbar fusion because I haven't had one, but I'm scheduled for one in early January.

    Take care, Mike, and please keep us posted. In the meantime, please give us some more information on yourself, like what kind of pain you're having, how you like your surgeon, etc.

  • I think that most of us here can relate to the fact that chronic pain is very hard to understand unless you experience it. I am so sorry to hear that your surgery was failed. I hear so many stories of folks having pain relief at first only to end up so much worse than before surgery. It really makes me wonder if most of us would be better off trying to deal with what we have rather than risk being worse. I hope that you are able to find a solution and some type of relief soon. Chronic pain really controls so much of our lives when we suffer from it. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  • Liz, John, Cath and J.J.,

    Thank you all for your kind words. Like most law enforcement people, I don't reach out and tell my story very often. But from your responses, I feel that this support group is the right thing at the right time.

    To answer John's question, the Charite disc did not seat properly at S1, which threw my spine in to a curvature. After two-hours of sitting, I have muscle spasms and I have the sensation of a tight-belt around my chest. I can self-adjust and relieve some of the tension, but sitting becomes difficult. But looking like a question-mark is fun for the kids. What works best to reduce the pain, is to lay down, fetal, and rest for about forty-five minutes. Really puts a damper on the office staff. I can’t take a muscle relaxer, because they knock me out. So I have cut my days to about three hours.

    Cath, I have a lot of faith in my surgeon, and have recently asked his opinion on fusion in the area. It appears that the disc I had chosen, is failing about 50% of the time. (Just my luck) So we are looking into fusing around the artificial disc. To be impartial, he requested a second opinion. Since I retired from my past employer, they are fighting any additional surgeries. So the chance to be fused is a slim one.

    As far as the pain, I recently had a elbow surgery to relocate my Ulnar nerve. Eight inch incision and 30 stitches to close. I would rate the pain in the arm at a five. As far as the pain in my lower back, a constant eight. The muscles are always hard and always painful. I would rate my overall back pain at a 8/10, daily. In addition, I have a bum left knee and bum left shoulder/elbow/wrist, from other work-related injuries. (I worked in a large county with very little back-up)

    Well, I would like to thank you each for your input and I look forward to getting to know other members.

    Take care, Mike
  • your story interest me as i may have to have ARD myself ..whats happened to you is the thing that worries me .i have already had 2 operations and countless procedure on my back and now i am in awful pain and had no life for the last 2 years ..to be in MORE pain due to an operation ..well mike i don't think i could stand that .what are you going to do?? i understand that replacing a replacement disc is extremely hard work and you require a surgeon with nerves of steel.mike i wish you well and feel free to contact me anytime .i will be following your case closely .i can't offer any advice as i am in pain myself and don't know what to do .{seeing the consultant in a few days for recent MRI scan report]

    Post Edited by Authority Member haglandc for inappropriate language
  • From what the surgeon stated, the artificial disc will stay in place and they will fuse around it. He said he has done this several times before, and since the disc has been with me for 3 1/2 years, it's grown into the bone.

    I have a CT Scan on 11/20, which will give him a better look. The problem with me was the lower section of the disc slipped just after surgery. I put my Xray up to show the curve. (My kids love it, I look like a question-mark by 5:00 PM.)

    Good luck to you.


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